Family History Fridays held at Lancashire Archives in Preston give people with an interest in their ancestry a chance to discover their past.
On the second Friday of each month, anyone can get help to discover their family history from 9.30am to 5pm at Lancashire Record Office, on Bow Lane.
Experienced volunteers from Preston Family History Society will be on hand to help people wanting to trace their family tree to get started with their research.
Visitors will be given free access to some subscription websites and the chance to get advice on using archive materials such as census and parish registers to explore their heritage.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “More and more people are setting out to uncover their family history, and current programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family act as an inspiration.
“There is no better way to start this kind of research than with a visit to your Record Office, where our experienced staff can provide expert advice on how to get going.
“Family History Fridays are the ideal opportunity for anyone who is thinking of investigating their family tree to get access to the best resources available and find out how to do it.
“We have nine miles of shelves filled with documentation such as parish registers and wills which are excellent resources for digging up your past.
“We’re keen to remind people that while a lot of basic family history can be done from online resources there is much more to discover about Lancashire ancestors in the archives. Fewer than five per cent of our collections are accessible online, so that means that there is much more material available for people to explore.
“I’m told that this can become a time consuming and compulsive interest though, so people should be aware of that before they start.”
Family History Fridays include:
• A morning family history surgery run by experienced volunteers from Preston Family History Society
• A lunchtime talk about different sources for researching family history
• A Getting to Know Lancashire Archives afternoon session. At this session people are shown how to use the search room and access the collections which will help their research. They also get a chance to see behind the scenes in a strong room and see how archives are preserved for the future.
Lancashire Record Office, which is part of the county council, was set up in 1940. It now holds almost nine miles of archives which tell the amazing story of the county and the people who have lived and worked here for over nine centuries.